SALEM — The Oregon Department of Energy announced today 19 recipients of about $1.6 million in Renewable Energy Development Grant funds. The RED Grant program supports Oregon businesses, nonprofits, and organizations investing in renewable energy systems that use biomass, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, landfill gas, biogas, wave, tidal, or ocean energy to produce electricity.
Two awarded projects are for small hydropower projects – the remaining 17 are for solar. Grants awarded range from about $27,000 up to $200,000. A $200,000 grant will support capturing hydro energy at Crystal Springs Water District in Hood River. In Talent, a $68,828 grant will fund a solar installation with battery storage for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, while a $27,000 grant will support solar for Gold Beach’s public library expansion. A grant of about $35,000 will allow low- and moderate-income renters to access renewable energy in Enterprise. See ODOE’s blog for a complete list of selected projects.
Applications were scored based on a number of criteria, including amount of energy generated, job creation, community benefits, and more. Energy incentives can help stimulate local economies, so points were awarded for systems in low-density areas in Eastern Oregon and areas with high unemployment rates. Points were also awarded for projects that were designed with resilience in mind. Renewable systems that are capable of supplying electricity when the larger grid is unavailable – due to extreme weather or other emergencies – earned more points.
In July, ODOE announced six grant awardees for renewable energy projects greater than 300 kilowatts. This is the final set of awardees under the RED Grant program, which launched in 2012.
“Oregon is an energy leader, in part because businesses, nonprofits, and local governments are stepping up to make the switch to renewable energy,” said ODOE Director Janine Benner. “Projects like these are important for helping Oregon reach our climate goals and boost community resilience.”
ODOE will finalize performance agreements with the awardees over the next few months. Funds are allocated after the project is completed and operational, and once all conditions of the performance agreements are met.
For more information about the Renewable Energy Development grant program, visit ODOE’s website.